Weekly thingy and Temperance/The Fisherwoman and Her Wife, AKA the most rebellious card.
Shwmae a croeso, my cute little pili-palas! (Hello and welcome, and pili-pala is butterfly, although I just found out that the plural is a whole sparate word so hi, this is my Wenglish. Who’s still learning Welsh for no good reason?)
I told y’all it would be a few extra days before I got the Wheel card done, right? Well that is now extra extra true. So the last time, I said that I was thinking about using ‘Donkeyskin’ for it, and while that would have fit in several ways, it is also a deeply fucked up story even by fairytale standards and seemed like a lot to tie in to that particular card.
So then I shifted to The Fisherman and His Wife, which has the same sort of circular rise and fall of fortune. And that went pretty well; the card is pretty, the story is fun, I have all the sympathy in the world for that talking fish putting up with this bullshit.
AND THEN last night, as I was coloring in the text, which is always the last step, I had a rush of brains to the head and realized that I had overlooked the INCREDIBLY OBVIOUS AND PERFECTLY SUITED fairytale that needs to be the Wheel. Do you know how much I do not truck with drawing stuff twice? SO MUCH. But also it’s perfect! So when I went to bed I was considering doing a whole second card for the Wheel and just letting there be two versions, which is really no issue till it comes time to make this into a real deck. Let’s be honest, you all know that’s happening, right? Or at least will be if I presell enough for the order? I mean I’m not starting anything involving that till I’m on card 78 instead of card 10ish, but I’m going to want to make this a thing.
ANYWAY. So this morning I took a walk through the list of major arcana just to see what might fit what, and Temperance leapt out at me as an even better fit for the existing card than the Wheel, which meant all I had to do was paint out the lettering and redo it, and sneak in a few more numbers. So NOW the Wheel is up next again, but now I also know exactly what I’m doing for it.
Anyway. I feel like this story is fairly well known in one version or another. A fisherman catches a magical talking fish, his wife figures out that it can grant wishes and they gradually move up from shack to cottage to palace to her being the emperor and then the pope. Every time the fisherman goes back, the water is darker and angrier, but his wife (in the Grimm story) is just a greedy nagging shrew and won’t be satisfied. Eventually she demands to be G-d, and the fish resets them to the shack they started out in.
There’s a lot of gross misogyny in the portrayal of the wife, and the fisherman is just sort of a mild-mannered cipher with no real personality beyond ‘I don’t think this is right but I can’t say no’. So my couple are not quite them – besides the obvious gender flip (ugh, drawing men, nope) they’re together in the boat, dreaming a little too big but not yet all the way to pushing it over the edge. I think we can all understand the difficulty of finding the line between asking for too much and feeling like you let an opportunity pass you by.